Directed by Jang Hun, 2008
25 March 2011
Su-ta is an aggressive, arrogant star who naturally ends up
playing violent gangster-like roles. His tendency to throw
the occasional punch in real life too probably only bolsters
his fame, but when he seriously injures another actor
on the set of his new film, controversy erupts and the
production is suspended. Strangely enough, none of the
other available actors seem willing to fill the now vacant
role of his adversary. Meanwhile, Gang-pae is the real
thing. Despite his young age, he has risen to the number
two position in an organized crime ring. Effortlessly
effective as a fighter, he is often called upon to solve the
gang’s trickiest problems. In his free time, however, he
often sneaks off alone to watch movies. When he runs into
Su-ta by chance in a salon, he confesses to him his lifelong
ambition of becoming an actor.
The conversation between Su-ta and Gang-pae (their
names are a playful pun on the words “star” and
“gangster”) is anything but cordial: Su-ta’s machismo and
Gang-pae’s cool, mix like oil and water. But desperation drives Su-ta to eventually come back to Gang-pae to ask
him to co-star in the film. Gang-pae agrees, but on one
condition: instead of simulated blows, they will fight for
real in front of the camera.
The simulated and the real, acting and real life-Rough Cut
returns obsessively to question the nature of this
dichotomy. Are they two sides of the same coin, or do
they each inhabit a completely different universe? The film
is a playful intellectual exercise to complement what is,
a well told and engaging story.
Rough Cut is director Jang Hun’s first foray into direction
after having apprenticed with Kim Ki-duk on movies such
as 3-Iron, The Bow, Samaritan Girl and Time.